Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.
Age 6- School begins- Check
Age 17-Finish School- Check
Age 19- Buy a car- Kinda Check
Age 22- Complete Degree
Age 23- Nail top job
Age 24- Marry
Age 30- Have last kid.
She passed her journal to me.
“That was my life list I wrote in high school. How silly, so many times, we have this life timeline where we think this is how our life will shape up by a certain time and when it doesn’t…”
I looked at her. ” And when it doesn’t? When things don’t go according to plan and you find yourself without a map and at the edge of 30 without most things ticked off? what then?”
She winced. Visibly.
“I don’t know… I don’t know…” I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff and I can’t see anything anymore. I didn’t know I’ll end up dropping out of uni, finishing my degree through UNISA and then not getting the job I wanted,and marrying when I thought I’d be having my last kid.”
“Not forgetting the modules you failed and getting fired.”
She glared at me. ” Brutal much?”
I shrugged. “Tough love girl. Take it or take it. Hey … do you remember Why you left Uni?”
Her mind visibly scrambled back in time.
She was standing with downcast eyes and garbed in black near the quad. Her daily uniform. Some of the other girls covered up on Jumah and it felt good but increasingly she felt that “don’t care about fashion” value she had slipping away,bit by bit. From someone who never looked at haraam, she found herself wishing to have more of a social life. That day, a guy and girl passed by and made salaam, she smiled in relief. When she saw them again, they asked her to join them for a game of thunee. She said she didn’t play but she sat nearby, the laughter and sense of belonging washing over her. Then one day, someone sidled upto her. Cute with a beard that could easily expand into a sunnah beard. She thought.
“Bored as me? ” He grinned.
“Worse.” She didn’t know whether to meet those laughing eyes or not.
She looked up . There was a beat of laden silence.
He cleared his throat. ” So, you want to try my ipod? ” He asked passing her his plugs.
She shook her head. “I don’t listen to music.”
“But WHY? It’s soul food!”
“Umm because it’s haraam… it’s not right.”
“And this is?” He asked softly. His gaze sweeping everything around them.
Something shifted between them then. She felt like she was standing on quicksand. She was never in this situation before. A voice shouted in the distance. “Hey Rahul!”
“Rahul?” SHe asked, visibly taken aback.
” Yes, I’m not Muslim. I get mistaken alot of times, most of my bras are Muslim too. Suddenly it’s wrong for you to talk to me because I’m not Muslim but had I been, would it have been less wrong? You’ll disgust me with your double standards. Look around you, is anyone acting Muslim here?”
He walked off and she hung her head in shame. He was right. This was not the place for anyone striving to be a good Muslim. She saw couples sitting almost ontop of each other.Pawing each other like it was the Serengeti, others buying food mindlessly from a vendor who sold haraam sandwhiches,others making plans to go out for coffee even though there wasn’t supposed to be free and casual interaction between genders,some listening to music,some playing games that were basically gambling and a cluster debating religion.
That night she told her parents she was leaving campus.
“Yup, it was for a good reason.”
I nodded. “Never ever regret leaving a place where your conscience slowly mutes itself,wherever it may be. You might look at yourself as a failure because you didn’t tick off your list but don’t forget the moments,the choices,the days where you Did something.”
“InshaaAllah,InshaaAllah… we compare ourselves to the media,to others,to everyone having a good time on instagram… but that’s only setting ourselves up for dissapointment.”
“Now you talking girl. We don’t know what the future will hold but we can do something right now that will make this moment last forever, quick, say SubhanAllah.”
“There ,you planted a tree in Paradise. For every subhanAllah said, one tree is grown in our Jannah, we care so much to fill this life,we forget the next. Start preparing for that and the future will not seem so bleak.”
“Spot on.” She finally smiled with rays of hope shining out of her eyes. “SubhanAllah!”
“SubhanAllah!”. All Glory belonged to Allah alone.
“My garden is growing! SubhanAllah!”
SubhanAllah. We say it on earth… it takes effect in the heavens. In that moment ,we lived. Because we sent it forward to infinity.
If only you knew.